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Planning: Nursery at Liphook Crescent
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gingernuts


Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #1
15-03-2010 09:46 AM

A planning application has been submitted to convert [*] Liphook Crescent into a Nursery. This would seem most inappropriate in a quiet residential area, not least because of the traffic it would generate, but also because this is a family home - one of the few not yet converted into flats in Forest Hill. Also there is no notification outside the property alerting people to the application, which was received by the Council a month ago. Isnt there an obligation to show residents of intended changes?

http://acolnet.lewisham.gov.uk/LEWIS-XSL...mkey=59081

[*Property number removed at request of property owner - admin]

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michael


Posts: 3,196
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #2
15-03-2010 10:57 AM

I should probably declare an interest in seeing increased nursery provision in Forest Hill, particularly so close to my expected baby's grandparent's house.

As far as I am aware there is not a single other house in Liphook Crescent that has been converted into flats, infact there are few converted houses in Tewksbury Lodge. Converting residential properties to child care is not so unusual and is probably safer than lots of cars heading to a single destination in the town centre.

I don't really believe the claim of the applicant that all parents would bring their children by foot, that is not what happens on the hill. However, this section of Liphook has few parked cars because there are only houses on one side. It is a difficult part of the road to cross due to the sharp bend but it is also not a road used by many cars as it does not go anywhere.

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Contrary Mary


Posts: 124
Joined: Oct 2008
Post: #3
15-03-2010 02:02 PM

Would the "quiet residential" nature of this area be an argument for closing Horniman Primary school, then, due to the school run? Confused

There's a baby boom on. Not everyone is a yummy mummy with Papa earning enough in the City for Mama to stay home. There is not enough reasonable daycare in the area, as evidenced by the ridiculous waiting lists for nursery care (2 years for one which starts taking babies at 3 months!!)

If you want a well-adjusted next generation capable of paying for your pension, rather one of kids who end up going feral because their hard-pressed parents can't get them looked after when they go back to work, so they get used to roaming around at too early an age, then give them, their parents and their potential care/early years education providers a break and get a life. Angry

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gingernuts


Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #4
15-03-2010 02:28 PM

I wouldnt be too happy to find a Nursury opening next door to me, if it had previously been a family home!! Contrary Mary may love the noise (are children ever quiet?) and general disruption but that's not for everyone. If it's a matter of social conscience then perhaps one of the many empty businesses in Forest Hill would make a better choice (e.g. Louisa House?). There is a shortage of decent family housing in Forest Hill and this should be maintained as a family home.

Not being able to find child care isnt the reason children roam feral. I think this is an over the top response.

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sniffer


Posts: 36
Joined: Mar 2008
Post: #5
15-03-2010 02:41 PM

Nurseries do not necessarily keep school hours and, like schools, they generate unwanted traffic. Moreover the noise nuisance, especially in summer when the children are outdoors, is often the continual shouting of the carers.

Contrary Mary evidently prefers those virtuous women who are allegedly so skint they have to go out to work at the expense of caring for their offspring, to those women who follow the traditional route of staying at home whilst their children are young. Few of these full-time mothers are members of the idle rich, as her posting misleadingly implies. At least not in Forest Hill.

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michael


Posts: 3,196
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #6
15-03-2010 03:42 PM

sniffer Wrote:
Nurseries do not necessarily keep school hours and, like schools, they generate unwanted traffic. Moreover the noise nuisance, especially in summer when the children are outdoors, is often the continual shouting of the carers.


You make a good case for closing all schools and nurseries. Not only would it reduce traffic but it would force women down the "traditional route of staying at home".

As far as the noise nuisance is concerned, I think a small nursery in a detatched house is less likely to be a problem as pre-school children and their carers make significantly less noise than primary school children (if memory serves you can hear in Horniman School from Liphook Crescent at lunch time).

The proposal is that this house will continue to be a family house but with permission to use the ground floor for a nursery. And of course neighbouring 'families houses' are exactly the residents who would most benefit from good ultra-local nursery provision.

But I have to agree with Gingernuts that we do not seem to have a problem with feral toddlers in this or any other part of London. I know they grow up quickly but I don't see gangs of hooded babies roaming the streets in their sooped-up bugaboos (at least not without their parents).

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roz


Posts: 1,790
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #7
15-03-2010 07:44 PM

If I read the application correctly there are plans to accommodate 25 children at this nursery. I agree that nurseries are in short supply but I am not sure whether I would like this size of business next to my home so I can understand the objections. Its one thing living next door to a childminder, a medium size nursery, which this is , is something else altogether however I would suspect that the children would spend a lot of time in Horniman Gardens on fine days and you may actually not hear very much at all unless the windows are open or they are all outside at once which I would think would be very unlikely.
There are several precedents of detached houses in Forest Hill becoming nurseries- I can think of two immediately. The good thing is that arrival and finish times can be staggered so there may not be the 'rush' at the start and finish of every day.

As regards the concept of working mothers, as far as I can gather and from personal experience, most women, and indeed fathers want a good work/life balance. Staying at home full time is these days a luxury that few can actually afford despite the exhorbitant cost of childcare and not everyone is cut out for it; some make a good job of it by getting involved in their local community but for a lot of women it isn't so attractive. The fact is that children spend quite a lot of time in nursery and other childcare settings anyway and it is no longer the professional view that children are better off spending 100% of their time with their parents- its good quality care that is the main factor. Women who choose to work when their kids are small do it to keep their brains active and themselves sane, to have a life of their own hence being good role models for their particularly female children, and to keep themselves in the job market for the sake of future income and their pensions. Kids are, after all, extremely expensive to bring up- 200k according to a recent report and thats without the private education and designer trainers.

In respect of planning notices, this should be posted by the owner as soon as possible after the application. If the owner has not done this then you can ask the council to extend the consultation period ie start from when the notice is put up- a bit of an own goal as this can only delay the application going to committee.

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Contrary Mary


Posts: 124
Joined: Oct 2008
Post: #8
15-03-2010 09:40 PM

Thank you, Roz, for making those points - and far more politely than I would have done! Blush

I will put away my list of links to various child development and family economics articles... but, gingernuts, be assured that if someone opened up a nursery next door to me, the only noise problem around my street would be the sound of me cheering.

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baggydave


Posts: 384
Joined: May 2004
Post: #9
15-03-2010 11:01 PM

Is this something to do with the use of the property, rather than adding an extra floor, building a new house around the existing, or adding a turret? Hopefully none of the latter although I would expect there to be a large greenhouse protuding somewhere from it.

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Triangle


Posts: 133
Joined: May 2007
Post: #10
16-03-2010 10:45 AM

I think taking the children to Hornimans Gardens would be wonderful for them, but in reality I'm not sure what the legalities of taking up to 25 very young children off site and out into the street/park might be. No doubt in this day and age health & safety would be an issue to contend with.

Hence, I think one might need to consider that in fine weather the children could remain on site all day and be out in the garden - so there is the potential for noise and essentially this is a quiet residential road. Some people quite like the sound of children at play - but often it is a distant sound. Living next door to it right through the summer, perhaps when you're on your own annual leave from work, could prove testing.

Also, while this is not currently a busy road, if permission is granted then this will of course become the road leading to the nursery! - so traffic levels will increase with the potential for more noise - especially if parents leave engines ticking over when dropping children off. Additionally, the parking of cars near to the sharp bend could pose problems, especially in the winter weather we've all just experienced.

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Londondrz


Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #11
16-03-2010 01:08 PM

On the days I work from home I sit in my front room at my desk and Fairlawn Nursery is not more than 50 yards away and I have never been bothered by any noise.

I would worry if someone has an issue with children having fun, there is no nicer sound than little kids having a good time. Laughter is a great sound.

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gingernuts


Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #12
16-03-2010 01:14 PM

I would just note that Fairlawn Nursery is purpose built, a back garden in a private dwelling catering for 24 children not all laughing some scream (lovely) can set the nerves on edge when it is constant.

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Londondrz


Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #13
16-03-2010 01:25 PM

A lot more kids at Fairlawn and yes they do shout but then they are kids.

What with the south circular and flight paths 25 kids out at break for an hour is the least of your worries.

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shzl400


Posts: 729
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #14
17-03-2010 07:29 PM

Quote:
I think taking the children to Hornimans Gardens would be wonderful for them, but in reality I'm not sure what the legalities of taking up to 25 very young children off site and out into the street/park might be. No doubt in this day and age health & safety would be an issue to contend with.


My son went to a nursery near Hilly Fields and they regularly took batches of children, some just toddlers, in a fleet of double buggies and a six seater trolley.

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vipes


Posts: 145
Joined: Oct 2006
Post: #15
17-03-2010 09:17 PM

It's a big house but surely not for that many kids plus staff plus cots plus toys. Kids need space.

Also not sure how "wonderful" the Horniman escorted by the poorly paid overworked young nursery staff I'm sure they'll employ. You can identify troupes of nursery staff at the Horniman a mile off because they'll be chatting only to each other - never to the sad, passive looking (often tiny) little kids in the buggies they're pushing. They always look to me like they've given up a bit. Maybe they get more attention back at the nursery but I doubt it. I wonder what line on "quality care" the parents were sold when they signed up.

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pipling


Posts: 18
Joined: Nov 2009
Post: #16
17-03-2010 09:43 PM

Well, I should probably introduce myself.

I am the owner of the nursery in Liphook Crescent where I already run a small playgroup.It is still my family home - I live here with my husband, toddler and baby.My husband has owned the house for more than ten years.

I am a local teacher of 10 years. I worked at Horniman Primary School for many years and now tutor local children privately. This is very much my local community and I am well known by many parents.

I have consulted with many of the neighbours in the 50 metre consultation area regarding my application and only one person has made some noises of disapproval.

I am sure that some of the parents will drive to drop off their child but I really don't anticipate it being many. Most people who have applied for a place have come on foot because they live nearby. Their plans are to drop the child off and continue on foot to the station to go to work.
The parents who do drive will be staggered in their arrival between 8am and 9am and it takes minutes to drop off or collect a child from nursery.

There is so much parking available in this street and surrounding streets not to mention the fact that every house in Liphook Crescent has off street parking.

With regards to noise levels - it is true that children under 5 do not make the same kind of playground noise as a school ( and yes, you can hear the Horniman School playground!).Ten of the children are babies and toddlers who might be making some quiet babbling as they play and the other 14 Pre -Schoolers would not all be out in the garden at the same time!In a nursery there are many stimulating activities provided for children outside - they do not run around screaming - they play and they laugh!

As for carers shouting - there is a no shouting policy here. There is no need for anyone to be shouting - this is a calm, relaxed environment where children are respected and nurtured.

The under 2yrs children will be visiting Horniman Museum on a daily basis in double buggies with between 2 and 3 carers (or Aunties as we call them here). The ratio of adults to children is very high at my nursery (1:2 for under 2yrs) so this is very safe.

Any of you who are parents will know that there is a serious shortage of childcare in this and surrounding areas.There is a nursery in Forest Hill with a three year waiting list.

I am very excited about this new venture and I invite anyone who has any serious concerns (and lives nearby) to contact me so that I can do my best to reassure them that this nursery is a positive thing for the area not a negative one.

Thanks for listening!

The date of a planning application is not the same date a notice must be displayed outside. It takes some time for the council to actually send it first! The notice is displayed outside the house.

Ouch!

I am a hardworking mother of two who is opening this nursery at this time to ensure that my own two children who will attend, will be receiving the very, very, best quality of care. My staff are not underpaid or overworked and they are not all young!! I have put my heart and soul into this so lets not just jump to conclusions.

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Londondrz


Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #17
18-03-2010 11:24 AM

Pipling, as a parent with two kids, one just into reception and the other still at nursery I wish you all the best. There is a big shortage of nurserys in Forest Hill and when our first one closed with litle notice it really screwed us up. Having just one more nursery at the time would have been of great help.

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newcomer


Posts: 25
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #18
18-03-2010 04:15 PM

I've got to admit - when I first read this post my initial reaction was "oh good" because the nurseries in F. Hill are so horribly oversubscribed and we really do need more. I was recently laughed out of one nursery because I am already heavily pregnant and the nursery has a 18 month to 2 year waiting list (they let me know that I should have applied AS SOON AS I knew I was pregnant, even before the 12-week scan).

Apart from that personal bias however, while I don't know how much noise a nursery makes in reality, I imagine that at least it's better than some of the alternatives (which wouldn't require planning permission). For example, in the past I have lived beside (A) a house-full of teenage kids who had parties that lasted all night, and (B) more recently, beside inconsiderate neighbours who played loud music in the garden at every opportunity and had blazing rows every other weekend. I would rather have a few babies next door anyday - at least they'll all be gone by 6pm or so!

As the property in question is originally a family home, it is always likely to have at least a few kids running round outside. Even if you hate the sound of kids at play (and I agree with Londondrz here - personally I think it's a lovely sound) then it's worth noting that older kids often make more noise playing in the garden than babies/toddlers do, so noise levels might actually be lower with a nursery than they would be if the property remained as a pure 'family home'.

As long as the potential traffic problems can be addressed, then you might also find that living near to a nursery is a boon rather than a bane. A great nursery nearby can sometimes help to push property prices up (or, if not prices, then at least demand) and so many people will see proximity to a nursery as an important USP in a baby-boom area like SE23.

PS, by the way, I'm now planning to look at nanny-share/childminder options instead, so I have no personal ulterior motive in being supportive of this proposal!

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NewForester


Posts: 377
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #19
19-03-2010 11:45 AM

Not only is there a shortage of nursery provision, but Lewisham is predicted to be short of 3000 Primary School places in the near future. Where are the children going to be bussed to?

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pipling


Posts: 18
Joined: Nov 2009
Post: #20
29-03-2010 09:36 PM

What is your point exactly about Fairlawn being purpose built? It is in a residential area with houses all around it and in fact houses immediately adjacent to it with their gardens immediately next to it's garden.

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